Review of 2013 AFM workshop at Requimte
Last Updated on Sunday, 28 April 2013 12:00
"I really enjoyed my time on the course. In a simple and practical manner, I learned how to obtain results from AFM. I entered the course without ever being on the same lab with an AFM and left being able to carry out an experiment and analysing my own results."
Last week, we held our AFM workshop for 2013, here in Porto. We had students from Portugal, Spain, Germany, Romania, Denmark and Norway.
The students enjoyed the course a lot, and we got lots of very positive feedback.
"I have to tell you that I'm enjoying a lot this mini-course. The language used to explain the concepts is very clear and there is a good atmosphere between all participants."
This is the second time we've run the course, and the first time in Porto. Last time we ran it in Lisbon. We brought one AFM up from our lab in Lisbon, so the students had access to two instruments.
On the first day, after meeting the students, we started with a short introduction to AFM, followed by a talk about AFM instrumentation, focussing on important concepts, and the differences between different instruments the students might encounter. Some of the students were already using AFM, and some had never used it. In fact, a couple of the students were already regular AFM users, but still found the course useful:
"I found it useful even for people (like me) having a certain experience in the field. For instance, things that work well in/with AFM can be easily found in a lot of papers, but things that are hard or tricky to set up are seldom explicitly written in articles. The workshop addressed specifically this type of issues. Also, to my opinion, attending the workshop was not expensive at all. "
Last Updated on Monday, 20 May 2013 10:35
In our lab, we have a TT-AFM from AFM Workshop. We had one of the very first examples of this microscope, so although it's fairly new, the instrument, and the software has developed a lot during that time. On this page, I have collected together various materials that can help use the TT-AFM instrument. Note that although this material is all based on the TT-AFM, a lot of it probably applies to the other instruments from AFM Workshop, since they are all based on the same electronics. Lots of more general information about AFM operation can be found around this website (links on the left), and of course in my book.
Some images from the TT-AFM obtained in our lab showing gold nanospheres, gold nanotriangles (phase image), tobacco mosaic virus, and Quantum Dots (2 nm).
UPDATE: The latest version of the AFM Workshop software 2.03, seems to be far superior to 1.58, which I was using previosuly. I reccommend strongly that everyone check this version out.
Requimte AFM Workshop
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 14:48
The Requimte AFM Workshop will run during Easter 2013, from the 25th to 28th March. This follows the successful course that ran in 2011. The course includes several hours hands-on training in acquiring images with the atomic force microscope as well as AFM data processing. The course has been reorganised based on student feedback, and will feature advanced topics lectures from guest scientists in biology and materials science.
- We had many more applicaitons than vacancies for this course. All vacancies on the course are filled, but if you are interested, you can let me know and I will tell you early when the next course is organised. Probably it will be in 2014. To do so, email
Dr Simon Connell,, from the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics Lab, University of Leeds, will contribute to the course, with a talk entitled: "Dynamics in Biological AFM"
- The course timetable, including the guest lectures has now been set, and can be seen here: timetable.pdf
Some information about the course that took place in 2011 can be seen here: http://atomicforceblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/2011-requimte-afm-mini-course.html
The course is sponsored by AFMWorkshop.
AFM Image Gallery
Last Updated on Friday, 26 April 2013 14:50
This page contains a slideshow of various AFM images I ahave collected over the years. Click the Read More link to see the slideshow.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:47
I was recently asked what equipment is necessary to set up a new AFM lab, so here goes:
Materials necessary to set up a new AFM lab
Note: Many manufacturers include a lot of these items when you buy an instrument; check before ordering. I have only included estimated prices for items with high cost.
1. Calibration/certification product. Usually a silicon grid with repeating features. See extensive list of suppliers here:
SPM References and Standards
Note: This is the most expensive item, but absolutely necessary. The importance of calibration is discussed in my book (especially Appendices A and B). Take care of your calibration artifact once you have it.
Estimated cost: 300-1000 dollars, depending on model and supplier. Traceable standards will be more expensive.
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